Obama, Rouhani back resumption of nuclear talks
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Hopeful yet unyielding, President Barack Obama and new Iranian President Hasan Rouhani both spoke up fervently for improved relations and a resumption of stalled nuclear talks at the United Nations, but gave no ground on the long-held positions that have scuttled previous attempts to break the impasse.
The leaders' separate appearances at the United Nations General Assembly came amid heightened speculation about a thaw in US-Iranian relations following the election of Mr Rouhani, a more-moderate sounding cleric.
In fact, officials from both countries had quietly negotiated the possibility of a brief meeting between the two leaders.
But US officials said the Iranians told them on Tuesday that an encounter would be "too complicated" given uncertainty about how it would be received in Tehran. Instead, Mr Obama and Mr Rouhani traded their public messages during addresses hours apart at the annual UN meetings.